Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett pleased with key win

Hartlepool United have played better than last night and lost this season, according to boss Craig Hignett.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 9:26 am
Nicky Deverdics scores Pools' opening goal

But the gaffer doesn’t care one bit, as his side eventually got the rub of the green in victory over Accrington.

Hignett, whose side sit 13th in the table, just four points off the League Two play-offs, has been one of the biggest critics of refereeing calls against his side this season.

But this time he says ref Richard Clark got the decision to dismiss Mark Hughes on the hour mark spot on.

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Ultimately, it was call that swung the match, in the balance to that point with the visitors probably shading it, in Pools’ favour.

He said: “We have played better than that this season and lost.

“First half we didn’t play anywhere near we can be with the ball, we were safe and wanted an extra touch, but we grew into it.

“Finally, in the end, we are getting a bit of luck.

“We have had some awful decisions against us this season so to get one go for us is good.

“Does luck even itself out in the season? I don’t know.

“We have had some awful decisions against us and maybe this is a sign that things are going in our favour.”

Reflecting on Clarke’s call, Hignett was in absolutely no doubt that the man in the middle, on this occasion, was spot on.

The gaffer was full of praise for the Morpeth whistler.

“The penalty was for a pull of Podge (Padraig Amond) – it was a good spot from the ref as Toto (Nsiala) was behind him.

“It looked to me as if Podge was going to get there, maybe we’ve had some consistency from referees after Barnet.”

One of the biggest positives from the clash was the fact Pools kept yet another clean sheet.

Hignett’s men are making a habit of it, given that they have such a poor defensive record this campaign.

That was their third shutout in the last fortnight at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium, as well as their third win at home, having not done so for the previous seven months.

“We have played three at the back and kept a clean sheet and for the most part of it, it worked,” he said of his new 3-5-2 experiment. “There’s things to tidy up, moving the ball about.

“At half-time we said we play all the football and don’t shoot. It’s not something we practice as we practice shooting all the time in training and we can’t score the perfect goal all the time.

“We had four or five good chances to pull the trigger first-half and it has to change. I’m pleased for the fans to come and see another home win.”